It’s no secret that difficult economic times have forced many patients to put off cosmetic surgery.
No where is that more apparent than in South Korea, the Asian “mecca” of plastic surgery. Thirty percent of Korean women had cosmetic procedures done last year, and now, scores of luxury clinics either are empty or have gone out of business.
Doctors are always drawn to cosmetic procedures, since they allow for lucrative cash-only payments without the price controls of Medicare or a comparable health system. The problem is, incomes then become sensitive to economic factors.
The long-term viability of cash-only medicine models will depend on how these clinics weather the current recession.